Bones.

Bones

It’s night and it’s dark and I’m alone and lonely and wondering.

I don’t know anything. How do we live with ourselves, when we know nothing? Fake it, I suppose. Play the charade along with everyone else, and cower in the curtains back stage.

You know, writing can be excruciating. Not only because every word on the page often seems little more than a smear of slime. Not only because every new word is sometimes like pulling out your own teeth, peeling off the skin and flesh from your skull, wet slice by slice, and then dismantling your bones from the neck down.

It’s also painful because every time I write, I’m struck with existential angst.

What is writing but a way to tolerate this absurd, transitory existence? A way to briefly comfort ourselves with the fact that our lives matter, that our words will live on to touch others long after the flesh has melted from our bones?

Theoretically, what if rats made art with their faeces? We would consider it with indifference and disgust. Yet it could be of paramount importance to the rat, an expression of its furry little existence. Isn’t our art the same? Just patterns drawn in the sand, that we preserve for posterity until posterity runs out, and then it is nothing but molecules pushed aside, just paper, dust, empty ideas without brains to latch onto.

That’s pretty awful. The gaping nothingness of living, that even turns books into dust, if you give it enough time.

You know what else is awful? Scrolling through pictures of buried skeletons. Or watching a documentary about burials, like I did. Those skulls, embedded in the earth like grimy pearls, along with their bones, stirred up something nameless and horrifying within me today.

After all, you and I, him and her, we all end up like that. A bunch of bones, buried in the dirt – if we’re lucky. Just calcified products. Nothing but atoms that return to the earth. What’s the point? What’s it for? Is there a soul that flits away like a shadow bird, once we die? I hope so. But I don’t know.

Just a bunch of bones.

I don’t know anything, but I still wonder. And I cry behind the curtains, but I still go out and dance. Let us tap our bones in a lovely little symphony, and bury them quietly.

INFPs & Self-Love

Happy

Ahhhhhhhhhhh.

Sorry.

Hi. How are you? How you doin’? I hope you’re well. I really do. I hope you’re incandescently happy right now, and if you’re not, then I hope one day you will be. You will.

Usually, I would have written this on my new blog reserved exclusively for INFPS, but very few people have read it and found it engaging, and if I’m honest with myself, even I find it a little boring, probably because it’s much more serious and wilted than the oftentimes playful posts on this blog.

So I decided to write about it on here. It’s okay. We all have failures. Maybe I should start writing a funny blog for INFPs. It’s better to use humor and delight as a way of self-growth rather than prissy little posts full of puckered lips and frowns, don’t you think? Would any of you be interested in that? It’s so much fun laughing at our weird, awkward, wacky selves isn’t it?

Much better than weeping and moping and…self-hatred.

I can’t be the only one who’s struggled with this, right? No. Of course not. What am I saying? If there was, on the off chance, an emotional Olympic Games, we would get gold-medal for Most Critical Type. And ENTJs would get the gold medal for Most Blunt Type. Remind me again why I like ENTJs so much? Ahem. I digress.

For a good portion of my life, I’ve loathed myself. Loathed everything about myself. Loathed my hair. My face. My entire being. Everything was wrong, off, inadequate. Not good enough. It was enough to skyrocket my social anxiety levels, and just generally make me a horrible person to be around, because I was so insecure and flat and fishing for compliments and reassurances all the time like a wet, limp rag of a human being.

Everyone else seemed so sure and confident and secure in themselves. No-one else seem to have trouble talking to people. I shrank in social conversations, erasing my thoughts and opinions and beliefs in an effort to align myself and agree with others, so they wouldn’t hate me. I didn’t want to be disliked. Really, deep down, when you hate yourself, and you act in a self-deprecating manner, it’s your subconscious desperately trying to obtain love.

One of the reasons I repelled the love of my life for two freaking years, suddenly avoiding and ignoring him like he’d sprouted horns and maggots wriggled in his hair (poor guy, I’M SO SORRY, I’ll make it up to you) was because I thought I was inferior to him. I had no self-confidence, and no self-respect for myself. And that drove him far, far away. Why?

Because no-one loves people who don’t love themselves.

Oh. My. God. I mean, it’s so obvious, and it’s bandied around a lot in self-help articles and whatnot, but I never truly realised the truth of it. I never truly absorbed it. Have you? One of the many reasons I like the person I do right now is because of his confidence, and his acceptance and love of himself. As human beings, we’re attracted to independently happy people. And here I was, poisoning my insides with bad thoughts until I was a mushy clump of bitter dregs to swallow in social situations.

And now, finally, after years and years of mental flagellation and self-torture, sprouting from a bad incident with bullies and my innate self-critical nature, I can finally say….

….I love myself.

I love my flaws. I love my weirdness. I love the way my eyes roll and flit about like a wacky, crazy person when I’m having fun. I love my creativity, and my imagination, and I won’t put myself down for having both of those in abundance, even if people think I’m mad. There is a method to my madness, my dear. I love my writing, even though it’s often far from good, because every word I write is a learning experience. And I’ve touched some of you guys, so, I’m happy! I even love my awkward laugh, a cross between a grunt and a snort and a sweet, little girly trill. Ah, my lovely, little hybrid laugh.

Of course, this lightning strike of an epiphany only happened today. It was one of those things, you know, when you understand something in principle, but never truly apply it. And today was the day I finally realised how important it was to love and treasure who am, because if I don’t, then how will anyone else?

Like I said, really obvious, but I never actually internalized it.

Oh! And here are some tips I used to overcome my self-hatred. I hope you might be able to extract some usefulness from them. Right now, I feel like I’m in a good place, and even ready to speak to my crush for the second time in a row, even though the thought sends me into a giddy, nail-biting frenzy. Go me! Gosh. Even those two little words of encouragement are so alien to me.

I never supported myself, even though the most important supporter you can have is not your mother, or your boyfriend, or the world: it’s you. Just you. Put yourself first, okay? You are a wonderful, lovely human being. Hey, I love you. I really do. You’re awesome. If you’re struggling with the same thing, you’ve just got to change your mindset a little. It’s wonderful when you love yourself, because you hurt less. And you’re happier, and you can talk to people and make them happy with your I-Love-Me presence. Of course, everything in moderation – an overblown ego is just as strong of a repellant as a non-existent one.

Okay. Let’s get started.

  1. Record a video of yourself speaking to the camera and then watch it again and again and again.You will cringe the first time round. And the second. Watch it until it almost feels like the person speaking to the screen isn’t you anymore. This is easier if you don’t really pay much attention to your reflection in the mirror, and so sometimes forget details of your own face like I do.As the face on the screen grows more and more foreign, actually imagine it’s someone else, and judge them as you would another being. Or use your imagination and pretend you’re someone else, and judge the person on the screen while you’re in the mind and skin of that other person (preferably a neutral one – don’t put on the skin of your enemy for this exercise). You’re probably going to be much kinder to yourself, and realise you don’t look half-bad – maybe your awkwardness and weird laugh is even kind of cute.
  2. Reattach yourself to reality. When I hated myself, I viewed everyone as a threat to my already rocky self-esteem. This did not lead to a good social vibe. I became so distanced from people I began to view them as psychological studies rather than creatures I could have fun with. Most normal people actually socialize because it’s fun and enjoyable, and I don’t care how introverted you are, you’re still human and can find delight in interacting with other beings.So try and laugh and have fun with some people, even if you’re awkward.It’ll reconnect you with your inner playfulness and that of others, and make you happier. It’ll also make you realise that most people aren’t out to get you – they’re quite nice, and they’d really like it if you were nicer and less stony-faced and serious, and could have a good laugh with them.
  3. It’s all about your personality. Hey. I get it. Looks matter. Beauty is important in our society – there’s no denying that. But your appearance takes a back seat once you open your mouth, and start expressing your own unique personality. People pay attention. People like you. People will smile and laugh with you, because you’re a happy and nice human being who is confident with him or herself.Ever notice how beauty doesn’t only fade with age, but time, as in, the time you spend with someone? It’s as if you can get accustomed to beauty, so that it recedes into the background and all you see is who they are. Same thing goes for unattractive, or even ugly people – if they have a good personality, once you’ve been around them for long enough, they’re looks stop mattering.

This stuff doesn’t happen overnight. Well, the realization happened overnight for me, but it’s going to take lots of ACTION and DOING and moving out of my comfort zone to truly, truly put it into practice. A lot of self-affirmation, and realizing that I am a beautiful, lovely human being, and that I deserve people to like me for that.

Oh, and there’s the fact that I’m head over heels for someone at the moment, which is extra motivation to get working on myself. Maybe the universe didn’t allow our relationship to start until I had my shit together and grown as a person a little more, and was ready to learn the greatest life lesson of all: thou must love thyself. To thine own self be true. Okay?

Why Do So Many People Choose To Stay Dead?

Passion

“I only believe in intoxication and ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” – Anaïs Nin

Why is that so many people don’t seek their heart’s true passion?

It makes me wonder how they can live. How they can wake up in the morning, and face the bleak future of the day, without knowing what keeps their heart pumping.

You see miserable, passionless people everyday. They’re sad. They’re sad, and they don’t even know it. The sadness is buried deep beneath societal tokens of money, wealth, status, but they’re sad because they’re not doing what they love, not what they’re heart yearns for, not something that makes them want to dance and sing and cry.

Harsh as it sounds, if you’re not following your passion, or at the very least actively searching for your passion by dabbling in a variety of activities, you might as well die. Because you’re living a dead life. You’re a zombie in our midst, and we’ve got enough of those.

Look. In the end, it doesn’t matter if we live happy, fulfilling lives, or boring, unfulfilled lives trapped in a cubicle and watching television and eating junk food until our mind and stomachs and teeth rot. It doesn’t matter, in the full scheme of things. Human civilisation will end. You will end. Your consciousness will end. Every single book that has ever been written will one day be naught but dust. Naught but illegible scribbles on tree bark.

But it matters for you. It matters for you. All you’ve got is this one life. Why not live the best one that you can? Sure, it doesn’t matter, but if it doesn’t matter, doesn’t that make you feel all the more free to chase your dreams? If the choice is between something good and something bad, and it doesn’t matter which one you choose in the long run, why not choose the good? At least you’ll make yourself happy. At least you’ll make others happy, if you’re heart is in the right place.

All I’m saying is, don’t be one of those stone-heart people with listless eyes, who drag their body about their days as if it’s a flesh sack filled with bones. You’re more than that. You’ve got shining eyes and a soul and a heart. Why not let yourself shine? Sure, at the end of the day, the candle burns out, but, ah, what lovely light!

What lovely light.

Existence.

Sunrise

It’s 2 am.

And I can’t sleep.

I’m sitting in front of the computer, terrified of waking up my mother and being hounded back to bed.

Existence is confusing.

Existence is madness.

Existence is flimsy.

Existence is like that stray wisp of a thought that you can never catch hold of once it wanders out of your mind.

We’ll never able to fathom it, because we’re in it. Like fish in water. The fish don’t see the water. They don’t know of land. Only we, as outsiders, can point to the water, and say, look, that’s water, and the fish are swimming in it. To the fish, water is simply existence. We are the same. And what higher beings, I wonder, point to our existence, and say, this is just air? And what kind of world, what kind of land, exists beyond our air?

I don’t know much. No-one knows much. We’re all unsettled on the inside, because we don’t know anything. But maybe not knowing is just something we have to get comfortable with. Maybe it’s better to stop trying to know, rather than seek the knowing that we hope to but will never find.

But I do know some things. Sort of.

I know that love and laughter make life sparkly.

I know that art, and the creation of art, can make your heart shine.

I know that kisses and hugs are more important than the secrets of the universe.

I know trees and birds and insects. I wave to them, as I go about my day, just to say, “Hello! We’re all in this wild randomness together. And you’re doing fine.”

I know clouds and mountains and sunsets. They’re just colours. They’re just photons. They’re just rock. But why does my heart shine so? There is some magic at play here, I think. Why do we react so to beauty? Beauty is the smile of the Universe, maybe. Maybe Beauty is a gleam from God. I don’t believe in a God. But I believe in Beauty. I think Beauty is part of something. Part of something bigger. Or maybe not. It’s still beautiful.

Hey.

Sing. Dance. Laugh. Love. Play. Live. Dream.

We twirl and beam and exit. We twirl and beam and exit.

Things That Make You Feel Alive

Fly

People go through life wanting to feel alive.

After spending days docile and dulled at work or school, we seek pleasure. Things that get the blood going, the eyes shining.

For some, this comes in the form wild, adrenaline-filled activities. Parties, crawling with coloured lights and the glitter of disco balls and the thump thump thump of blood-shaking music. One-night stands. Roller-coasters. Going on holidays, jumping out of a plane. Getting a drastic makeover. Going on a heady shopping spree.

But for others, that sense of aliveness, that feeling of your soul soaring out of your chest like a blossoming, glowing dove to envelop the world in a white rush, comes from quieter, smaller things.

The sight of a sunset, staining the heavens crimson.

A shaded, wooded glen, in which tiny birds croon in the branches and squirrels scamper through the undergrowth. Sunlight dappling the ground, pale yellow and green.

A homeless child, wrapped in bundles of clothes, and looking out at the world with her still, cold face. Others beg, moan, but she is silent. Quiet.

An empty playground beneath a stormy, grey sky, skeletal leaves skirling in the wind. The swing shakes slightly, side to side, as if briefly sat upon by a phantom child.

The warm body of a cat, pressed against your leg, purring and blinking its lazy, yellow eyes, as the rain patters on the roof outside. Cats are the most wonderful creatures in the world. Steady, quiet, selfish, loving, unpredictable.

A cracked and abandoned birdbath, ivy clustering about its rim. All the birds have flown away. There are beetles scuttling out of the cracks, and a lizard lies like a large and flat in its shadow.

An old statue, worn-down by the winds of time, carved eyes pale and miserable.

A mannequin, left by the side of the road, missing an arm and face-down in the grass. I wonder if this is what it envisioned, what it was first brought into the world by the unloving, metal arms of machines? What misery must be locked in its silent, little heart, to be stripped bare when it was made to wear and display beautiful clothes?

One single, straggling flower worming its way through a crack in the concrete. If there weren’t people around, I would kiss its dear little head and whisper to it encouragements.

Rows and rows of people on the bus, with heavy-lidded eyes and even heavier burdens in their breasts. The straps swung to and fro, like the halters of an abattoir. What would they look like, if they were following their dreams, if they were happy, if they were in their element? Beautiful. They would all look beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

A woman sits at a park bench, hem of dress sodden and eyes wet with newly-made tears. She carried with her no belongings. No handbag. Just herself. People pass her by. I pass her by too, but I secretly watch her, and I secretly hurt, and I secretly wonder.

That flash of vulnerability, that buried look in people’s eyes. I want to evaporate into a ghost myself and talk in low voice to their neglected souls.

Pools of still water, covered in froths of algae and lily pads.

An inquisitive crow, darting its beak into a bag of rubbish in front of someone’s house.

Even that brief moment before a thunderstorm which crackles a sense of giddy joy into our hearts. In its gloom, in its doom, in its power and strangeness and wildness, it is unutterably beautiful.

These things make me feel so inexpressibly ALIVE, so full and free, so real and solid that it feels as if my heart would burst from the joy. They touch upon the pulse of life. It’s one of the reasons people imagine and read. It brings them closer to feeling alive, to living in newer and stranger worlds that make our hearts soar and rise and fly.

You should find what makes you feel alive. And you should do it. Soak in it. Stuff your eyes with wonder as if you’ll die in ten seconds, as Ray Bradbury put it.

I’m tired of dead hearts.

Taking The Path Less Traveled By

Child

Would you consider living in the back of a van?

Well, that has been my dream for the past few weeks. It seems to be one of the only ways to be self-sufficient in this capitalist society. A society that swallows a chunk of our paycheck in return for a place to rest our heads at night.

You don’t see the birds paying other birds worms for their spot on a tree branch.

Ridiculous. Ridiculous.

But, back to the van. I know what you’re thinking. The girl’s seventeen, and she wants to throw away her entire future and become practically homeless?

Yes. Because existence is not worth anything if you don’t follow your heart, and follow your dreams.

If I lived in a van, my living expenses would be pared down to a minimal amount.

If I lived in a van, I could devote my days to creative pursuits.

If I lived in a van, I could have hours to visit the library and read, read, read.

If I lived in a van, I could be free. Or, at least, my time will be my own. My life will be my own.

The thought of living in a van, my own personal and cozy little place, makes me happy.

There is something within me, an angry, mischievous little pixie, that stamps its feet and squeaks in fury whenever it glimpses a social norm. Something within me – raw, visceral – rebels against conformity, and the disgustingly well-trodden path. Look! An entire wilderness awaits, bursting with lush monsters and creatures, and you want to go that way? Just to stare at a tree? Please.

The conventional holds no allure.

I mean…think about it…

Why should people have to spend most of their lives working to keep a roof over their heads?

Why should people waste their time at jobs they hate?

Why should people allow their talents to be constrained by financial realities?

Yes. The thought of skipping university to go and live in a van on the streets is terrifying.

And I know that living in a van is not all peaches and cream.

I know that living in a van requires giving up luxuries such as everyday showers, and stress-free trips to the bathroom.

That it’s hard. Even a little dangerous. Hard.

Maybe I’d have to endure loud noises at night. Be constantly afraid of someone smashing the vehicle’s window to loot its contents. Be woken in the middle of the night by a befuddled policewoman, who cannot understand why a young thing like me could possibly want to choose such a lifestyle, and report me to the authorities.

Who knows. I might end up bawling my eyes out in a grey-walled office, not because of my purported ‘homelessness’, as those daft police at their impersonal headquarters might assume, but because it would mean I’d have to give up my free and nomadic life, and be thrown back into the system. A wayward product. Chuck-chuck, goes the cookie cutter. Ah. Much better. And off I’ll go, a stiff little gingerbread woman with a dolorous, icing mouth.

Sweet. So sweet it makes you retch.

And.

Maybe living in a van won’t solve all my problems. Maybe I’ll hate it more than a day job. Maybe the reality will be far less rosy than the ideal, as it always is, and I’ll end up trailing back into embrace of mainstream society and letting it kiss me on the cheek with its cold, loving lips.

Maybe, with all that time on my hands, I’ll procrastinate instead of doing work.

What I’m trying to say is: Who knows?

Of course, it’d be nice if I could, in the interval between now and my future residence in a van, snag a boyfriend who understands my affectionate yet cold and intimate yet distant nature, and who is willing enough to accompany me on my nomadic peregrinations.

Such a boyfriend could help me with the technicalities that I, as a dreamer, often have so much trouble with: navigating roads, finding gyms for their showering facilities, rigging up solar panels and alarms. One of the most daunting things about transmuting one’s ideas into reality is the incomprehensible, convoluted execution of it.

Plus, if I had someone with me, I think I’d feel much safer at night, when the moon comes out and drunks and unscrupulous people and bats roam the silvery-black streets. We could turn everyday in an adventure, together, and lie in the back of the van looking into each others’ eyes and whispering about the mysteries of existence.

How gorgeous. Such a daydream makes my heart fizzle with quiet, starry delight.

But it might remain a daydream. It probably will. In the end, it comes down to me. The only person I can truly rely on is myself. Dependency is often just a nice word for slavery.

You know. People often say, in regards to dreams, that it all comes down to how badly you want something. Just how much are you willing to sacrifice, hm?

That’s true.

I think I could suffer any personal discomfort – say, peeing in a bottle in the absence of a restroom, subsisting on a bland diet of vegetables, rice and beans, and living in a cramped space for years on end – for the sake of my creative pursuits, simply because such a desire is intertwined with the strands of my soul, like so many seams of glinting gold thread. Some stitches can’t be pulled out, and if they are, leave scars that never, never heal. Ever.

But I’d go a bit further and say it also comes down to how badly you don’t want something.

If you’re anything like me, and the thought of grinding away at a nine-to-five job that nibbles away the flesh of time from the bones of your existence makes you want to SCREAM, and do something very, very bad, and very, very nasty that will probably have very bad consequences, like, say, end your own existence, then you should consider an alternative.

You’ve only got one life. It’s so, so short. I don’t know. It just seems wrong, to let the current drag you along, doesn’t it? You’re choking, spewing bubbles from your mouth, you’re face is turning blue – blue – blue! Stop. Kick. Kick hard. Fight against the stream. Until you reach your salvation.

The very prospect of slotting neatly into society (and I would hazard this to be a very INFP mindset) makes me want to throw up. It’s not me. It never was, and never will be, me.

It’s about how badly you want something, and also how badly you don’t want other things.

Really, I’m just as scared as you are. I’m only a girl. I don’t know anything, and the world is so big and scary, and I’m so scared, and money leers at me everyday like some dead goblin with coins for eyes and a mouth stuffed with gobbets of bank notes and a slit throat. But I’m also a creature with one single, devoted goal. With one single love. And no, it’s not a boy. It’s not romance.

It’s writing. It’s imagination. It’s the crafting of stories.

I’m not so good at it yet. I’m pretty bad. And sometimes I’m scared I’ll never be good enough, as people tend to do. But, so what?

Everything takes practice. Ten years, twenty years, thirty years – I don’t care. I’ll get there.

And I guess I’ll find see how it pans out. From the back of a van.

Now….

Seeing as I don’t have a boyfriend, and am unlikely to procure one in the future…

I guess I just need to learn to drive first.

One teensy step at a time. Pitter-patter, my dear. Pitter-patter.

What Makes This INFP Mad

Sad Social injustice. When people trample on the underdogs. When people feel superior towards other people for no other reason than their looks, race, sexuality, etc. Today, I was on the bus when a woman dropped the lid on her Thermos. It rolled to a stop behind a man’s seat. The woman was Caucasian, wearing a business suit, eating McDonalds, hair teased up in a high, blond ponytail. An aura of superiority radiated from her like sickly perfume: the way she tossed her hair over her shoulder, lifted her chin, sat perched on her seat like she was the only peacock among a bus full of lowly pigeons. Another woman, old and clearly an immigrant, slightly hunched and Asian, bent down to help her pick up the lid. Out of the kindness of her heart. The other woman promptly dove down to snatch the lid right before the older woman could touch it, without a single word of thanks, as if she were afraid to get any of her grubby fingerprints on it. Her cherry-red lips were twisted in disdain. And this happened in Australia. In 2014. All I regret is not speaking up. That’s a big problem of mine: I tend to just sit there and seethe on injustices, like a boiling kettle with its spout plugged up. Anyway. That kind of stuff makes me really angry. Crazy, red, world-shifting rage. I don’t discriminate against anyone, and I try to believe in the goodness of all human beings, but oh boy, this incident on the bus got my blood simmering. I know most Caucasians are not like that (I did grow up in Australia) but this woman was just…ugh. The disgusting, disgusting airs she put on herself. And you know what the sad thing is? She’ll probably go on to be happy and rich and successful, safe in her privilege. Just remember (though the people who read my blog are all lovely, kind creatures, so this probably isn’t really getting the message out there to the right people): People are more than their looks. They’re more than their background. More than their language, their culture, their clothing. Look for the soul. You’re not better than anyone. Everyone is equal. We’re all human. HUMAN. Respect. Kindness. Is it so hard? Is evil real? Or is it just ignorance? Once, I encountered a racist and bigoted classmate who declaimed against all immigrants entering the country. I told him that technically, we’re all immigrants, and that my parents were immigrants, so…did think I should just get kicked out of the country? He then said that I was ”okay” because I sounded and acted Australian. Who determines what is “okay”? No-one has the right to do that. Double standards make me sick. Gah. People like that just make me so angry. And sad. Like I want to yell and cry at the same time, but I eventually only end up making up comebacks in my head after the situation, and staring angrily into mirrors with my lips pressed into a hard, angry line. That Asian woman could have well been my own mother. I’m pretty sure I’m on my way towards evolving from an idealist into a cynic.

You Can Be My Boyfriend If…

Skeleton

Currently in a state of utter paralysis over my future. Writing has been going crappy. I am a crappy, useless, talentless person. Starting to think I’m delusional again. Very hard to keep hoping. Feel like I’m clutching at mist, and everyone else is on the right track. Don’t worry. I tend to go through these cycles of bad days every week or so.

So I decided to write a funny post. Or try to. Just to cheer myself up. And maybe you too. Applicable predominately to INFPs. Or maybe just me. Ahem. Enjoy!

Just imagine that repeated line to be uttered in a sing-song, jaunty sort of voice. The kind of voice that makes you want to tear out your own eyes.

You can be my boyfriend if….

You’re not scared to kiss a skull. Come on, let’s get close and personal with our mortality…speaking of skulls, hypothetically, if I died, and rotted down, would you kiss my skull? After it was washed properly?

You can be my boyfriend if…

When I suddenly decide to live in a trailer, or a truck, or even a car, you know, to escape the 9-5 grind, you follow me. And we’ll giggle together in the night trying to find toilets and showers, and cook Ramen noodles beneath the stars in some park, poor as dirt but happy as ducks.

You can be my boyfriend if…

You don’t mind someone who loves books and writing and solitude more than you.

You can be my boyfriend if…

You’re the kind of person to spy on people from behind curtains. And when we see a homeless person, or someone who tugs at our heartstrings, we’ll both press our palms to the glass in a dramatic portrayal of silent lamentation. Oh, the woe.

You can be my boyfriend if…

You’re not afraid to ditch your job and go live on the abundance of our capitalist land, dumpster diving and living on pennies. And stealing bread from ducks because, you know, we’re really hungry and need it more than they do.

You can be my boyfriend if…

You treat me as a unique pet that requires to be farmed out, like children at daycare, to libraries for eight hours a day. Oh, and to help me carry precarious mountains of books on the way home. Books to me are like dogs to a bone.

You can be my boyfriend if…

You can drive. I can’t drive. I hate driving. I’m terrified of driving. Shudder.

You can be my boyfriend if…

The thought of lying side by side on the grass making shapes out of clouds and talking about life does not irk you. Why can’t anyone keep still these days?

You can be my boyfriend if…

You’re more outspoken than me. Come on, I need someone to beg food from restaurants, and to sweet talk the security guards when they wonder why two black-masked individuals are groping about in the supermarket dumpsters at midnight.

You can be my boyfriend if…

You don’t care about money, prestige, status, etc. etc. Art is life, baby, and it shall be the centre of our existence.

You can be my boyfriend if…

The thought of climbing a tree like two kids in the middle of the day does not make you feel embarrassed. The view is better up there, I promise.

You can be my boyfriend if…

You think love is about two kindred spirits who enjoy each others’ company and get together to have adventures and have fun, even in the face of financial hardship. Let’s make foraging for dandelion stems a happy-go-lucky joy.

You can be my boyfriend if…

You’re good at scavenging edible food. No, uh-uh, not that. I said edible.

You can be my boyfriend if…

You have good combat skills. You know, to destroy those monsters that lurk in the shadows of my mind…

You can be my boyfriend if…

You don’t mind outlandish facial expressions and outbursts. Sometimes, I just feel like yelping, “The moon is eating your face!” for no reason whatsoever.

You can be my boyfriend if…

You’ve experienced existential depression. ‘Nuff said.

You can be my boyfriend if…

You believe in my writing.

You can be my boyfriend if…

Talking about creepy things does not scare you. If you’re attracted to the macabre. Like dolls. And decapitated heads. Or things that keep on talking long after their dead. Mouldering things. Lost things.

You can be my boyfriend if…

If…

If…

Hey, where are you going?

20 Dreamer Revelations

Asian Workout

(IThe above image is courtesy of Feelart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

It’s astounding, how much change can be wrought in two measly days.

After my last, self-pitying post, I sat down with myself and had a good think.

I read self-help articles on the internet, on overcoming feelings of worthlessness, on the Law of Attraction, on being a better human being, on loving myself. Thought some more. I spent time forcing myself to talk to people I normally would have be too afraid and anxious to approach. Stepped out of my comfort zone. I assessed my dreams, probed my own heart and mind and soul.

And, in a matter of two days, I felt more confident, more assured, happier, safer and more excited for my future. This time, I think it’s going to stay. I’ll be elaborating on these revelations on my other INFP blog (one of the recent posts has been inspired by my revelations these past few days), but here are a few things I’ve learnt during this journey into my soul the last forty-eight hours. Maybe it will help you. It did me. We all need to grow. No-one knows everything, even the wisest among us. It helped me to see the light, and you can’t imagine how good it feels.

1. You are worthy because you are alive.

2. It’s all about your mind – if you believe, and have faith in your dreams and yourself, you will get what you want.

3. You are beautiful. All it takes is to think this in the morning as you brush your teeth. Smile into the mirror. People always look prettier when they’re happy.

4. You came into this world with a unique set of talents, a unique worldview, and one of your responsibilities to humanity is to make use of those talents, hone your skills, and give everything you have got.

5. The universe wants to help you. If you truly, truly believe, and expect something will happen, and work hard towards achieving it, the universe will accede to your desires.

6. Don’t be needy, desperate, self-pitying. Doing those things is like trying to eat your own shadow – it gets you nowhere, and it only brings you more negativity. Instead, be loving, self-affirming, feel a vigor for existence and existing, and bubbly wonderfulness will come.

7. Especially don’t be desperate about finding romantic love. As an INFP, I’m naturally an intensely, intensely, INTENSELY romantic person. If you’re not an INFP, it might be a little difficult to imagine the vastness of such a longing, deep as the ocean, wide as the sky. Romance is my kryptonite. But the thing I’ve found is the more you cling to something, the more you’re desperate to have something, the more it eludes you. So, guess what? I’ve let go. And you should to. I put myself on a dose of reality, come to terms with the truths about love, and feel perfectly happy going solo, even for the rest of my life. If it does drop into my lap, then of course, I’ll be over the moon happy. But I won’t be desperate any longer. Romance is a gift, not a given.

8. Whatever that’s making you anxious, attack it, solve it, stop it from making you feel shitty any longer. For years, I struggled under crippling social anxiety, and though two days is hardly enough to completely rewire my brain, I’ve forced myself to talk to people and feel happier and more connected than ever. Hey: I’m not scared anymore! That makes me deliriously happy. My skin is better. I feel vitality rushing through my limbs, strong and springy and glowing. Do yourself a favor and clean out the anxieties and fears and obsessions (if you have any, and if you’re human, you probably do) that stain your brain.

9. I live in a first world country. I’m not starving any time soon, even if I have no money at all, and that makes me so, so lucky. I’m blown away with gratitude; I mean, think about it, you can pursue higher order thinking activities such as reading and writing only because your basic needs of survival are more or less taken care of.

10. Most people are nice. Or have some degree of niceness inside them. Not everyone is out to get you. Most of the people you regard with disdain or suspicion, creating dark characters using your own mind and imagination, are good people. I used to have a lot of trouble trusting people, and I believed so many people were inherently bad. They’re not. And if you talk to them, they’re more than happy to be friendly.

11. You’ve got to give to receive. Rather than wait around for someone to notice your melancholy, troubled soul, go out and make the first step in connecting with others. The more you give, whatever it may be – your words, your friendship – the more you will get. People remember.

12. The more painful something is to do (and I don’t mean something silly like sticking nails into your palm – I mean more of the psychological kind, like continuing writing or running even when you’re tired and feeling bloody awful and sick of the world), the more you MUST do it. Life is suffering, and pain. Only through getting to the hard bits can we achieve true joy and fulfillment.

13. Don’t be afraid of getting hurt. You’ll get hurt. That’s just a part of existence. But the rewards you can reap by risking getting hurt more than outweigh the possible pain. Confess to somebody. Get rejected. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter! Go out, get battered, come home, recover, go out again! Battle scars show you tried.

14. Try to understand the people you loathe. It’s easy to hate, but hate does nothing. Yes, some people are racist, some people are cruel, some people are monsters, but the only thing you can do is try and understand their thought process, comprehend their faults and shortcomings, maybe even face the selfishness and cruelty human beings, including you, are capable of, and not let them barricade you from achieving your dreams.

15. No-one can stop you. The universe loves you. NO-ONE can stop you.

16. You’re going to die. Just, whatever you have to do, DO IT.

17. Everyone has it hard, now and then. It’s about your attitude. We always feel alone in our suffering, but that’s not true – everyone who has a beating heart suffers. Keep your head up. Sure, positivity and negativity might not matter in the grand scheme of things, but isn’t the former better than the latter? Choose the better one. Choose the better one.

18. This is so important, I’m going to say it again: Believe. Have faith. Expect success, and you will get it. Only now do I realize how powerful our minds really are in shaping our realities – rather late, I know, but better than never.

19. You deserve good stuff. You deserve success, fulfillment, love, money. Look at you! You’re a wonderful human with your own unique arsenal of talents. You’re beautiful, brave strong, loving. You are worthy of happiness. Trust me on this. You are, you are, you are.

20. Make joy the centre of your life. Anything you do, make sure you’re happy doing it. Enjoy it. Love. And sometimes we have to do stuff we don’t want to, like sit in a dull classroom, or wash dishes, but you can find nuggets of joy and beauty even those situations. You can sing while you wash the dishes, twiddle the plate so that the water flows in an aesthetically pleasing manner over the rim, make it a dance. When you’re bored, ask questions, or make up stuff in your head, or brainstorm ideas. Something. Anything. BE JOYFUL. It’s the only way to live.

Whew. That’s all for now. A lot of these are clichéd aphorisms I theoretically knew, and understood, but did not properly absorb. Now go out there and laugh and dream and live and love.

Loving Yourself: Another Deeply Personal Post. Tread Carefully. Thank You.

Pain

Now and then, I get a brief spurt of high self-esteem.

It was during one of these waves that I wrote the post “Anthem For Misfits”. One person even commented to tell me how proud she was of me, and I felt proud of me, too.

And then…I fell. The next post I wrote was about how scared and insecure I am. These bursts of fervor come and go, and when I hit a low point, I go very, very low.

Overall, I am a very insecure person. Right now, I’m screaming at myself for writing so poorly while trying to convey my suffering. Right now, I’m berating myself for using the word “I” so many times, and using this blog as a personal dumping ground for my issues. I’m afraid to appear like I’m whining. I’m afraid people sneer at such self-preoccupation, because I know in the end we’re all inherently selfish, and it’s hard to bother about other people’s woes.

But tonight, I’m going to keep on writing. Because I know someone out there, in spite of the self-centered attitude of this post, in spite of the horrific writing (the words flow out without any filter, I don’t press the backspace button for these types of posts unless it’s to fix the spelling) will be able to relate.

I know some of you out there care about me, purely through the glimpses of my soul you have seen through my writing, and those of you astound me – truly, for someone who has struggled with low self-esteem all her life, and has felt unlovable for many years, I am gobsmacked by your care and kindness. I can’t even begin to convey my gratitude; I feel that if I tried, I’d just start crying, crying, the kind of crying that makes your heart squish and contract in pain.

Deep within me is a gaping maw of unworthiness. No matter how hard I try, deep down, I still feel very, very worthless as a human being. I feel inferior to everyone I meet. I criticize myself ruthlessly, a constant barrage of negative self-talk, and only now am I starting to realize the true extent of my own destructive thinking.

Honestly, I’m not sure where these feelings of unworthiness started. Perhaps it was in primary school, when I was bullied by a group of beautiful girls, who giggled and taunted me and made me feel low and small and ugly. I don’t think I’m ugly anymore. I know I’m not ugly. In fact, I’ve grown more beautiful as I’ve grown older. Facially, I can laugh and say I’m pretty, but deep down, a little gremlin sneers and says, in a gravelly voice, “Really? You, beautiful? Look at those other girls.”

It partially has to do with growing up Asian in Australia, as the ideal standard of beauty over here is a Caucasian woman, preferably with a tanned, sexy body, and blonde hair and blue eyes. I love my Asian heritage, and wouldn’t want to look any other way, but have to work extra hard to maintain my self-esteem when bombarded with images of white beauty by the media every single day. It’s one of the reasons I cut television out of my life altogether – the lack of diversity was starting to sicken me – and why I even change the lyrics of some of the songs I sing, such as describing “green eyes” as “dark eyes” instead, to be more racially inclusive.

Piled on top of this is my idealism, my introversion, my eccentricity, my desire to help and care and trust and love, love, love. Even I scoff at how sweet and sentimental I can be sometimes, pausing along my walk to smile at a pigeon pecking at the grown, or showering a surprised friend with excessive motivation and compliments and love, just to have someone to lavish the contents of my heart upon, when she simply remarked that she was “feeling blue”. I know I should love this part of me, this part of me that’s so nice, and so wants to be nice, but mostly I feel it’s taken for granted, and repulses people in its enthusiasm. Then, I just shrink into myself, and weep in my heart.

Oh, and for those of you who have asked to email me. I would love to, but if I accepted one, I’d have to accept every single one, if only to be fair, and I don’t think I’d be able to handle it. Nevertheless, what I’m typing right now in this post is exactly what I would write to you; though perhaps a little shorter, for fear of boring you.

You know. I know I say this a lot, but I so desperately want to LOVE. I want to love every creature under the sun. Kiss birds. Hug bullied children. Wipe tears from the faces of those who have lost their loved ones, commiserate in the shared experience of being human and feeling pain and being so fragile and yet so strong and yet so hurting. I want to know their sorrows and their woes.

It’s one of the reasons this blog has made me so happy – your loving comments, and the love I hopefully give you in return, has allowed me to expend some of my deep and untapped affection. I love you. We’re all human. We all harbor secret pains in our heart, and are lonely when we close our eyes to sleep at night. I love you, from the bottom of my heart. No matter what race, what gender, no matter how you look, how much money you earn, I don’t care! I love you. Look at you. You’re a living creature, and you’re marvelous.

Now why can’t I say that to myself?

Why can’t I be so loving and nice to myself? It’s as if all my love is fighting to be freed out into the world, while where it is truly needed is back at home. I need to start loving myself the way I love people from afar, and it’s so hard. It’s like walking in reverse: strange, alien, awkward. The boy I was talking about in my last post? I’m sure I’ve repulsed him with my coldness, and it eats away at me, because I want to get to know him so badly, but I can’t seem to take the first step, and I haven’t had the opportunity to in quite a while. However, the next time I see him alone, without a group of friends of judge me, I’m going to talk to him; even if I’m shaking in my boots, I’m going up to him and I’m facing my fears of rejection and repulsion and I’m going to talk to him.

In the end, in order to love myself, I have to face the battened down child within me who was bullied for a few days at school, many, many years ago. Bullying is always terrible, but for a quiet, sensitive, shy child as I was when I was six, seven, they might as well have stabbed me with knives and left me to bleed in a crimson pool. I can still remember their faces. Their eyes shiny with condescension. So much bigger and better than me. So much stronger, standing over me. I’m not going to cry, writing this. I promised myself I wouldn’t. Often, I just use tears to pity myself, and I’m not going to do that anymore; self-pity does nothing.

Action. I need to take action, and take control of my life.

I need to hug the sad child within myself and tell her she is worthy, that she is beautiful, that she deserves to have friends who understand, that she is a good, competent human being. That she deserves to be loved. My eyes misted then, but I didn’t cry. Kept my promise. I always do. I always try to keep my promises, and I try so hard, I try so hard at pleasing people. I try so hard I loathe myself for my own desperation. I can’t be secure and bold and confident and cocky – that simply isn’t in my nature.

I can only be quietly secure in myself, once I regain my self-esteem, and I know, I know I will. Once I stop cowing inside every time I smile at someone and they don’t smile in return, every time I greet someone and their eyes stay cold while their lips stretch, every time I walk towards a group of people and they turn their gaze and avoid me, once I can brush off slights, I know I’ll be okay. That I’m truly brave and strong. Not just a lost little girl deathly afraid of people disliking her.

And I’m going to talk to that boy.

He may not be my soul mate, he may be nothing, he may be a jerk, he may treat me with derision, he may be indifferent towards me while I’ve already built our wedding in my head, already pictured him picking out books for me at the bookshop and us making dinner together in our cozy little kitchen, but I don’t care. I’ll talk to him, and after that I’ll sigh and pat the head of the little girl inside me and say, “See? It wasn’t so bad. It’s just talking. They can’t hurt you. Only you can hurt you. Understand?”

Yes. I’m going to talk to him.